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No More Excuses to Not Floss Your Teeth

An essential part of good dental health, flossing your teeth every day removes plaque from areas between your teeth where your toothbrush is unable to reach. West Meade Dental recommends that you floss your teeth at least once a day, every day. However, many people make excuses for not flossing every day. Since not flossing can lead to serious oral health problems, people who make excuses may end up regretting the excuses they made. Web MD talked to some dentists about common excuses for not flossing, and we would like to share with you their answers to the excuses.


Food Never Gets Stuck in My Teeth.

The main purpose of flossing is to remove plaque, not food. Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms between your teeth and along your gum line. Flossing every day keeps plaque from causing cavities and gum disease.

I Don’t Know How to Floss.

Flossing correctly can be tricky and difficult, but it is essential to learn how to floss properly. The American Dental Association provides the following instructions:

  • Take 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest around the middle finger of the other hand.
  • Grasp the floss tightly between your thumb and forefinger, and guide it between your teeth in a rubbing motion.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, form a C with the floss to follow the shape of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss firmly against the tooth and gently move it up and down.
  • Repeat this process with the rest of your teeth.
  • Use fresh sections of floss as you go through your mouth

I Don’t Have the Time to Floss

Find the time of day that best works for you, and make it part of your routine. Store your floss by your toothbrush and toothpaste to remind you. Remember that you can floss anywhere, so be sure to carry a pack of floss with you.

It Hurts When I Floss.

When it hurts your gums to floss, that is a major sign of gum disease, which is even more reason to floss. If you keep up with brushing and flossing daily, the pain will begin to go away. If you continue to have pain after two weeks, come see us at West Meade Dental,

My Teeth Are Too Close Together.

You can try waxed or glide floss, which slides more easily between teeth. For those with recessed gums, varied gaps between teeth, or braces, try using a threader or a loop to find an easier way to get between teeth. If your floss shreds apart, you may have a cavity or a dental work issue, like a broken crown or a loose filling.

Want to learn more about flossing? Contact West Meade Dental to ask our expert staff any flossing questions you may have.

Tips on Teaching Your Kids Good Dental Habits

Teaching your kids healthy dental habits is an important part of parenting. You want to put your children on the right path to good oral health, and instilling daily dental habits is one of the best ways to do this. At West Meade Dental, we are often asked by parents for tips on how to teach their kids these essential habits as some parents find this task to be challenging. We would like to share some of these tips that we found from the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) to help you teach your kids good dental habits.


Do Not Make Brushing Your Teeth Seem Like a Chore.

The last thing you want to do is make your children feel like they are being forced to brush their teeth. A good way to get your children in the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day is to lead by example. Let your kids see you brush your teeth every morning and night, and get them to brush along with you. Until your kids reach the age of six or seven, they will need your assistance with brushing. You can make this even more fun for your kids by letting them help you brush your teeth as well.

Buy Fun Toothbrushes and Flavored Toothpaste.

Get your kids toothbrushes in their favorite colors or ones that feature their favorite cartoon characters. Present these brushes as a gift to create excitement for your children. Also, when buying kids’ toothpaste, bring your children to the store with you and allow them to pick out their favorite flavors. Always try to involve your kids in decision-making process when buying dental supplies.

Get Creative with a Song or a Story About Good Dental Habits.

Making these dental habits a fun thing to do is essential when teaching your kids these habits. If your kids like to sing, make up a song about brushing their teeth with them to sing whenever they brush. If they have a favorite song, let them listen to this song as they brush. You can even tell them they need to brush during the chorus of the song. Creating a story time during teeth brushing is another fun way to instill this habit. Try telling a story that incorporates mythical characters. For example, the knight can be the toothbrush who battles goblins (plaque) in the dragon’s cave, or your child’s mouth. If you do not feel that creative, you can always tell your kids their favorite stories as they are brushing their teeth as well.

Set Specific Times for Brushing Teeth.

Of course, you should have your kids brush your teeth in the morning and at night before going to bed, but you should also get them in the habit of brushing their teeth immediately after eating candy and other sugary foods and drinking sodas and other sugar-filled drinks.

If you would like to know more tips on teaching your kids healthy dental habits, contact West Meade Dental. Our staff is happy to help you with this important task.

As Untreated Gum Disease Progresses, Its Dangers Increase

Even though gum disease is both easily preventable and reversible, it quickly progresses when left untreated. As the disease worsens, so do its dangers on your health. Not only is your mouth affected by gum disease, but the rest of your body is at risk. Research has proven that serious health conditions, such as heart disease and certain cancers, are associated with different types and stages of gum disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). At West Meade Dental, we look for signs of gum disease during every regular checkup and cleaning. When discovered in its early stages, gum disease can be successfully treated to stop it from worsening its health risks and dangers. Our staff will create a treatment plan for you that considers the type, stage, and severity of gum disease found during your checkup. We would like to tell you more about how this disease develops and its dangers progress when left untreated.


The Development of Gum Disease

Gingivitis, the earliest and mildest stage of gum disease, is not painful. However, as plaque builds up on the gums, they become inflamed, swollen, and bleed easily when you brush your teeth. Discovering the presence of gingivitis is one of the many reasons why visiting your dentist on a regular basis is so important. With proper treatment and healthy dental hygiene, gingivitis can be reversed before it worsens. If this condition is left untreated, it will most likely develop into periodontitis, or gum disease.

The Progression of Periodontitis

Untreated gingivitis can quickly advance into serious gum disease as plaque continues to spread and grow under the gum line. The bacteria in plaque produces toxins which further inflame and infect gum tissue. One of the biggest dangers of gum disease is the effect of these toxins on your body’s immune system. Although your body will attempt to fight the toxins, your immune system eventually becomes overwhelmed by the chronic inflammation caused by these toxins. The bones and tissues surrounding the gums begin to break down and separate from the teeth. Pockets between the gums and teeth are formed, and these pockets easily become infected and deepen if left untreated. Infected pockets cause more destruction of bones and tissues, and this leads to the danger of losing teeth.

Serious Repercussions of Periodontitis

Losing teeth is not the only danger of gum disease. The toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque enter your bloodstream and have been linked to serious health problems including strokes and heart disease. Additionally, diabetes is not only a risk factor of the advancement of periodontitis, but this illness can be worsened by the toxins associated with gum disease.

If you have noticed your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, contact West Meade Dental as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for a dental exam. The earlier gum disease is found and treated, the less likely you will experience the dangers of periodontitis.

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The Importance of Flossing

Every time you go to the dentist they ask the same questions, and one always seems to be about how often you floss. Most people cannot answer this with the number that they are looking for, which is only once a day. What they do not understand is flossing is the only way the spaces between your teeth will get clean since your brush and mouthwash cannot reach. The dentists on staff at West Meade Dental will be able to answer any questions you may have at your next appointment.



Not only is your dentist or hygienist going to brush and floss your teeth for you while in office, they are going to take a little tool and scrape off any tartar that they find. Tartar is a buildup of plaque that starts forming around the gum line. While this process does not actually hurt, it is not especially comfortable. Since tartar starts off as a soft substance, brushing and flossing can remove it at home. However, once it has hardened it can only be removed by the professionals.

Gum Disease

Since the teeth are positioned right against the gums, flossing is the only way to get anything that might be trapped there out. When this happens, the food will harden and begin to form tartar. This is how gingivitis, the first step of gum disease where your gums turn red and swell, is started. If this is left for a long enough period of time a more severe type of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Other Diseases

While your teeth are only located in your mouth, the diseases that can start there are capable of spreading to your entire body. Studies have shown that once a disease is in the blood stream it can start to harm your organs and body’s systems. Periodontal disease has also been known to lead to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses.

Economically Friendly

That’s right! Flossing can overtime save you money. Since it is what helps prevent many diseases and oral health problems, it will save you from having to have these things fixed. There are many effective, inexpensive floss options available at your local supermarket from standard floss to disposable picks.

By Shelley Sigur | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Bad Habits that Affect Oral Health

You might not know it, but a lot of the things you do each day  can affect your oral health. Here's what you should know:

You might not know it, but a lot of the things you do each day can affect your oral health. Here’s what you should know:

We worry about keeping our teeth bright and shiny, but what about their actual health? There are many habits that we do in our daily life that could be weakening our teeth. It is critical for your overall well-being that you address these issues. Also, make sure you are having your checkups. To schedule call the professionals at West Meade Dental.

How do you drink your drink?

Believe it or not, the way you drink your drink can affect your teeth. It is actually better to drink your drinks through a straw so it has less exposure to your teeth. Also, sipping them throughout the day only makes the sugar and acids more exposed to the teeth. And what do you do with the ice afterwards? Most people will chew their ice after they finish their drink. However, this should be avoided as it puts strain on the teeth and could cause fractures.

Teeth are bones, not tools!

Many people will use their teeth when they do not have another object around. Aside from this just being unsanitary, you can chip or fracture your tooth. Next time try using scissors, nail clippers, or pliers.

Hey you! Stop grinding your teeth!

Almost as annoying as smacking your gum, grinding your teeth cannot only put stress on your teeth, but the others around you. This is usually a nervous habit that is triggered by some sort of anxiety. If you grind your teeth at night, you should look into getting a mouth guard to wear while you sleep.

What are you using to brush your teeth and how well are you doing it?

Many think that a brush with harder bristles is the way to go. This can instead cause more sensitivity to the teeth, especially when roots begin to show. Every individual is different, so ask your dentist what type of brush will be best for you. Also, you want to make sure that you are brushing and flossing properly. You should be brushing at least twice a day and changing out your toothbrush in no longer than four months. For more information on proper brushing from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, click here.

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